ByKen McDonnell, writer at Creators.co
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Mass Effect 4 finally has its name, but there's a great deal about Bioware's sequel that remains a mystery. The Reddit leak which gave us the plot of Mass Effect: Andromeda seems to be completely accurate, however it fails to link the 4th instalment with the Mass Effect trilogy. How will the Andromeda galaxy deal with the events that transpired in the Milky Way? What's happening in this section of space during Shepard's campaign?

Well, a new timeline image seems to have all of the answers to our questions in one convenient location. Bear in mind, this didn't come straight from Bioware, but it offers such an exceptionally well thought-out explanation to the events of Mass Effect: Andromeda, that we can't help but be compelled!

Mass Effect: Andromeda
Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect 4: Andromeda Alongside the Mass Effect Trilogy in Awesome New Timeline Image!

You can check out our series of images below, but be warned! It's filled with spoilers for the Mass Effect trilogy. And if you haven't played those games yet, then what on earth are you doing here?! So with that aside, let's examine what this timeline can tell us about the future of the Mass Effect series - and its past.

For starters, the timeline for Mass Effect: Andromeda starts and finishes with the Ark. "Human archaeologists begin following the trail of clues that will eventually lead the to the Ark." This event takes place in 2148, the same year that humans uncover the Prothean data cache on Mars. From there we begin to expand into the depths of space, colonising planets, activating mass relays, engaging in a war with Turians and finally earning the right to an embassy on the Citadel Council in 2157.

Mass Effect Timeline
Mass Effect Timeline

The Ark is Everything for Mass Effect 4

Once humanity uncovers the Ark, its significance appears to be ignored. That is, until the findings of Shepard and his team highlight its galactic importance. In 2183, Admiral Hackett permits Salarain, Turian and Asari scientists to conduct experiments with the Ark - all of which was kept top secret. This would have been taking place before the events of the first Mass Effect game.

After some time, Liara T'Soni uncovers the true nature of the Ark. Her data on the Protheans was collected, as the Ark was revealed to be a pathway to the Andromeda galaxy. With the threat of the Reapers looming, Ark scientists appeal to the Council and Alliance Leadership to consider the Prothean device a means of escaping the imminent onslaught.

Mass Effect Timeline
Mass Effect Timeline

Can Mass Effect: Andromeda Have An Equally Engaging Plot?

Bioware's lore for the Mass Effect trilogy is gloriously expansive. You can delve into so much of this universe and tirelessly interact with the races and events that an incredible team of writers have created. We hope that Mass Effect: Andromeda maintains the series' level of quality and if this is in fact a similar timeline to the one that Bioware is developing - I think we'll be alright! Below is where things get really interesting, with the introduction of ARKCON.

Mass Effect Timeline
Mass Effect Timeline

With the use of Liara's encryption keys, access to the Ark is granted and ARKCON activates the Prothean device. The council sends through members of each respective race to explore this new frontier. The Pathway initiative is launched as these pathfinders investigate whether new colonies can survive outside of the Milky Way. It seems their venture was successful.

Mass Effect Timeline
Mass Effect Timeline

With Shepard having faced defeat on Thessia, and the threat of the Reapers looming, ARCKON prepares a flotilla of ships to head into the Andromeda galaxy. On board these sips will be countless personnel who will aid in the construction of new homes. Agricultural vessels are joined by resource planning platforms, military ships and all of the other prerequisites required to create new homes.

Mass Effect Timeline
Mass Effect Timeline

Will Shepard's Legacy Live On in Mass Effect: Andromeda?

Then, as Shepard launches the final battle on the Reapers, ARCKON orders for the newly prepared fleet to evacuate the Milky Way and make for the Andromeda galaxy. The ARK is destroyed in the process, as all communication for both sides is lost. Pathfinders will be totally clueless as to what happened in the Milky Way. The fate of their families and friends will be unknown to them and perhaps throughout the course of the game, we can find ways to uncover the details of what happened to Shepard.

So what do you guys think of this timeline? Does it make sense to you? Let us know if you're excited for Mass Effect 4 in the comments below!

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